January 2006 Archives

Homebuyers Look Online First

NAR 2006 Homebuyer Survey:

Nine out of 10 home buyers still use a real estate agent to purchase a home, but use of the Internet to search for a home has risen dramatically over the past several years, transforming the way the real estate industry does business.
NAR release.

Real Estate Answered

Zell: US Residential Real Estate Among the Cheapest in the World

Reuters:

"There will be a softer real estate market in some areas as a result, but I keep telling people there is no bubble," Zell told Reuters after an economic conference in Chicago. "The fact remains that even with the gains of the past five years, American residential real estate prices in relative terms are among the cheapest in the world."

Lobbying to Sell Your House

a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/12/business/12realtors.html?ex=1294722000&en=0d8307751a2522d0&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss">Glen Justice:

When the nation's largest banks decided at the start of the decade that they wanted to get into the real estate brokerage business, one major obstacle stood in their way: the National Association of Realtors.

Lobbyists for the huge trade group stonewalled the banks by tying up new rules at the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve. Then the big score came in 2002 when the Realtors persuaded Congress to adopt a one-year moratorium to stop the banks altogether. It was a card the Realtors would play again and again. Four years later, bankers still have not cracked the real estate market.

"They are known as very aggressive," said Edward L. Yingling, president of the American Bankers Association. "Not many trade associations are willing to be that tough on an issue."

Owners' Web Site Gives Realtors a Run for Their Money

Jeff Bailey:

They have turned Madison, a city of 208,000 known for its liberal politics, into one of the most active for-sale-by-owner markets in the country. And their success suggests that, in challenging the Realtor association's dominance of home sales, they may have hit on a winning formula that has eluded many other upstarts. Their site, FsboMadison.com (pronounced FIZZ-boh) holds a nearly 20 percent share of the Dane County market for residential real estate listings.

Watch Your Step, Novice Home Buyers...

Cheap money is the enabler of what has become an addiction to borrowing and creative financing deals from past decades are reappearing, warns June Fletcher in her book excerpt "House Poor."

New Orleans Housing Sales Are a Bright Spot

Gary Rivlin:

But there are plenty of buyers, with some seeking investments and others just needing a place to live after losing a home. Most people are buying "high and dry," to borrow the term on every broker's lips since Katrina, but even that seems a surprising vote of confidence in the long-term prospects of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes. In the West Bank area, which lies west of the Mississippi River, November sales were up 99 percent, in dollar terms, over November 2004, according to data provided by Latter & Blum. And in the high-priced Garden and Warehouse districts, the firm's November sales more than doubled.

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